Natural Does Not Always Mean Safe


It drives me crazy when I see products that are labeled “natural”, because most people believe that natural is a substitute for the word “organic”. This is a common misconception. In fact, most products that are labeled “natural” still contain harmful chemicals, like preservatives and pesticides. I experienced this first hand, during a purchase. After learning about the hidden dangers of antiperspirants, I purchased a deodorant stick, which was labeled “aluminum free”, “paraben free”, and “natural”. After using the deodorant for several weeks, I decided to look at the ingredients.  Despite being aluminum and paraben free, it still contained the chemical, triclosan. 

Triclosan has several side effects which include skin irritation, endocrine disruption, and a potential immunity towards antibiotics. Ingredients are important, and had I read the deodorant label earlier, I would have avoided purchasing it. Consumers should be wary that the word “natural” does not always mean safe! In fact, there is no regulation of “natural”, “pure”, or “artisan” labels. We see the word natural on food products every day, commonly on chips, dips, yogurts, and juice.  Food manufacturers are using deceitful labeling to make consumers feel like they are making better purchasing choices. Unfortunately for consumers, there is no clear regulatory definition for these words.  As consumers, we should avoid purchasing based on non-regulated labels, and instead read the nutrition facts.  The safest way to avoid being deceived by labels is to follow an organic lifestyle, and purchase products that have a “USDA Organic” certification label.  These labels are regulated, and manufacturers must abide by strict agricultural practices in order to be certified with a seal.  Nutrition labels are there for a reason so read them, and make sure you do not overlook harmful ingredients!